Radiation Therapy Schools: Traditional Training Vs. Online Options

Submitted by: Stella Armijo

If you are considering a radiation therapy career, you are in luck. There are many radiation therapy schools all over the country. A career in nursing is not only rewarding, but also provides good pay and job security. Nurses are currently in high demand and will continue to be so in the future due to the population size and age of baby boomers. An associate degree in nursing is surely a great start to your new career.

With an associate degree, you are qualified for entry-level nursing jobs at hospitals, retirement homes and inpatient facilities.

But before you can choose which school to attend, you need to decide if you want to get a certificate from a radiation program or go for a college degree, like an applied science degree.

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Radiation therapy is one of the areas of health care that is expected to continue to have job openings over the next several years. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, radiation therapist employment is projected to increase by 20 percent between 2010 and 2020.

In order to work as a radiation therapist you need a degree in radiation therapy or radiologic science. Most employers are looking for therapists with at least a bachelor’s degree. There are also several radiation therapy programs available around the country where you can start out by earning a certificate or an associate’s degree.

You should also think about traditional on-campus schooling versus online course options. Yet, the majority of schooling options for radiation therapy are found in traditional colleges and universities. There are not many online programs for people wanting to learn about radiation therapy.

Classes begin soon. Find radiation therapy schools and apply today! You can attend a one-year certificate program or earn an associate’s degree in radiological imaging, which involves two years of full-time schooling and clinical work. Most of these classes are done in a classroom setting, with time spent learning in a medical facility. It is very rare to find a fully online radiation therapist program. Once you complete this program you must pass the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) examination in order to earn certification.

You also have the choice of earning a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy or a Bachelor of Science in radiologic science. In these college degree courses, you must first obtain your ARRT certification before you can earn a bachelor’s degree. It may be possible to take some of these courses online, depending on which university you attend.

For existing radiation therapists looking to further their career, consider obtaining a Master of Science degree in radiologic science, with one of three distinct majors: radiologic administration, radiologist assistant and radiologic education.

Some schools, such as Midwestern State University, offer online courses for a master’s degree programs since qualifying students have already completed the clinical work required to become a certified radiation therapist.

It is important to point out that licensing and certification requirements to become a radiation therapist vary by state. If you do find a suitable online course, make sure it is approved by the ARRT or it may not be a viable program and you might not be able to obtain certification.

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